Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recipe: Marinated Flank Steak

I saw a recipe recently for marinated flank steak that sounded interesting. The marinade, though, was not to my taste, using a lot of soy sauce and sesame oil, so I made up my own recipe. Really tasty!

Flank steak is actually a very tough cut of beef, so there are two tricks to making it tender. One is to marinate it in an acidic marinade for at least 6 hours. The other is to slice the flank steak very thinly against the grain.

Marinated Flank Steak

One flank steak
A bottle of decent red wine (I used Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon; it has a screw cap. Don't judge me.)
1 medium to large onion, chopped
Half a dozen baby carrots, grated
4 gloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ to ½ teaspoon thyme

I discovered it is impossible to find an unfrozen flank steak. I found a frozen one at Von Hanson’s, a local butcher shop. Allow 24 hours for the steak to defrost in your fridge. Remove steak from packaging, rinse, and pat dry. I don’t know if this is actually necessary, but I’m kind of grossed out by the juices in the shrink wrapped package, so I rinse.

In a baking dish or bowl large enough to hold your steak (a 9x13 cake pan almost always works), throw in the onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme, and enough wine to cover your steak (most of a bottle in my case). Give it all a stir, being careful not to break the bay leaf. Put the steak in and roll it over a couple of times. Cover and let sit in your fridge for at least 6 hours. Flank steak is really tough, so you need to let the acid in the wine tenderize the meat for a while.

Get your grill SMOKING hot. Hot hot hot. Remove steak from marinade and toss on the grill. Cook for about five minutes on each side. The goal is to cook it really quickly over really high heat.

Remove meat from grill and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing.

This part is key: slice the steak very thinly across the grain.

A couple of slices of the steak, served with some steamed asparagus and some fresh bread is a very nice light dinner.

The leftovers, though, are what make this wonderful. Don't slice the entire steak right off the grill - just slice off what you can eat and wrap the rest up for leftovers. Then slice off a little bit at a time and try steak and cheese quesadillas or steak sandwiches. Or steak and eggs on Sunday morning.


MOLLY said...

Sounds awesome! One question - why can't you break the bay leaf?

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buster said...

I once got a piece of bay leaf in my mouth - razor sharp and tasted like ass. They're great for flavoring things, but you definitely don't want them hanging around after you're done marinating. Easiest way to do that is to make sure it stays in one piece so you'll be able to tell if it's clinging to the side of your steak.